On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Even though she is early in her career, Nidhi Suresh has already worked diligently to bring attention to the dire human rights violations occurring around the world.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2017, she became the Kashmir correspondent for Newslaundry, where she regularly covered issues of militarization, politics, policy, and gender. Within a year, she joined the Conflict Studies and Human Rights Masters programme at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where her thesis was “(Re)Imagining Azadi — How do young Kashmiri Muslim women in Srinagar discursively articulate their idea of Azadi (freedom) in the period after Burhan Wani’s killing in 2016?”
Those early experiences have solidified Suresh’s dedication to report on human rights and conflict. She served as the programme officer at the Delhi-based human rights research and advocacy organisation Quill Foundation, where in addition to working in the field, she authored the report, “Brutalizing Innocence — Detention Torture & Criminalization of Minors by UP Police to Quell anti-CAA Protests.”
Now, as a reporter at Newslaundry, she covers two North Indian states, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
“My aim is to invest all my time, energy, and resources [into] travelling and reporting on human rights and conflict,” she said. “Within the next five years, I envision myself in a leadership position, either editor or senior correspondent, where I can work with, guide, and lead a team to report, re-imagine, and redefine good journalism.”
Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder and CEO of Newslaundry, has confidence that Suresh will accomplish the ambitious goals she has set for herself. This is despite challenges made clear in a 2019 Newslaundry and UN Women and Teamwork Arts study that shows an abysmal representation of women in newsroom leadership positions across the country.
“In such an environment, Nidhi falls within a group that faces structural barriers to her growth in a North-Indian male-dominated news ecosystem. She has demonstrated diligence and a passion for her work that I believe should be nurtured and honed to prepare her for a future leadership role,” he said.
With the Elevate Scholarship, Suresh hopes to not only nurture her journalism skills but also learn from other young leaders and continue blazing a trail for others.
“I believe it is not just the stories that need to be diverse and inclusive, but also the storytellers,” she said. “My experience has taught me that in multiple situations, my identity as a woman of colour has given me access to stories that my male colleagues or white male colleagues might not have gotten. Stories with intersectional nuances can only be efficiently told by a newsroom that is intersectional itself.”